India Needs Framework for Regulation of AI, Says Digital India Corporation’s MD

Abhishek Singh, MD and CEO of Digital India Corporation on Monday emphasised the need for India to have its own framework on Artificial Intelligence (AI) that provides solutions to the diverse nature of the country.

Though many countries have legislative interventions, there is no law in India to regulate AI, he claimed.

“We are thinking in this direction. As and when the Digital India Act is passed, there would be provisions for enforcing guidelines,” Singh said virtually addressing the first CeRAI (Centre for Responsible AI) workshop on responsible AI for India held at the IIT Madras here.

The guidelines on AI would not limit innovation but allow innovation and creativity to prosper while offering ethical and responsible solutions to the users, he said.

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has its own committee on AI that proposes a draft for Indian standards equivalent to ISO standards. “TRAI came out with a consultative paper expressing concerns on the risks of AI. We are looking at this paper for finalising our framework for responsible and ethical AI,” Singh said.

Though on a positive note, several firms and even start-ups claim they are for responsible AI, they don’t adopt to those standards. “At times they are in conflict with their commercial interests and are not as ethical as they claim to be. We need to protect the safety and privacy concerns of the people,” he said.

AI, he argued, is not confined to driving cars or for entertainment but pervaded diverse fields including healthcare, and agriculture. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s talk on “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas aur Sabka Vishwas” (together with all, development for all and trust of all) applied to AI, as well. AI should be non-biased and non-discriminatory, he added.

Prof V Kamakoti, director, IIT Madras, also spoke.

The IIT-M has established the CeRAI, an interdisciplinary research centre, to ensure ethical and responsible development of AI-based solutions in the real world. “It is geared towards becoming a premier research centre at national and international level for both fundamental and applied research in responsible AI with immediate impact in deploying AI systems in the Indian ecosystem,” a release said.

Prof Balaraman Ravindran, head, CeRAI, stressed that it is important for the AI model and its predictions to be explainable and interpretable when they are to be deployed in various critical sectors/domains such as the healthcare, manufacturing and banking/finance among other areas.

“AI models need to provide performance guarantees appropriate to the applications they are deployed in. This covers data integrity, privacy, robustness of decision-making, etc. We need research into developing assurance and risk models for AI systems in different sectors,” he said. 

Google I/O 2023 saw the search giant repeatedly tell us that it cares about AI, alongside the launch of its first foldable phone and Pixel-branded tablet. This year, the company is going to supercharge its apps, services, and Android operating system with AI technology. We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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